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I have a 3+ year old i7 rig (using an old ASUS P6T Deluxe) which currently has two SSD's in RAID 0 using the on-board Intel Matrix Storage RAID Controller (The predecessor to Intel RST?) - The SSD's are 1st generation Samsung RBX drives and cost £1200 3+ years ago.

The Raid 0 SSD array is dog slow by modern standards:

Benchmark

Now then, i have purchased 2 Intel 520's & will be installing these soon, when i do, i am trying to decide if it's even worth putting them back in RAID 0.

Things to consider (that i can think off, feel free to add more):

  1. Trim wont work through a RAID 0 array (Is this assumption correct? will Trim work at all through such an old controller - even if i dont use RAID?)
  2. My board only has SATA 2 (3GB/s) slots - so i already have a bottleneck there - RAID 0 would help get around this a little as IO would be split over 2 lanes? (Again, is this assumption correct?)

So yes, to conclude, should i put the 520s in a RAID 0 array and loose TRIM, or keep them as separate drives and hopefully gain TRIM functionality?

UPDATE:

Based on sblairs info regarding the sandforce native GC i decided to go with raid 0 and ignore trim, I've re installed the os, apps & drivers & re-ran the benchmark:

enter image description here

As you can see, the difference is huge & it's blatantly obvious when using the rig - well worth the upgrade - even with such an old board - quite surprised actually.

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1 Answer 1

up vote 3 down vote accepted

TRIM is still not passed to SDDs in RAID 0, although Intel RST ought to support it later this year. Failing that, the Intel 520 drives use a SandForce controller, which tends to cope well when TRIM is not supported by the OS.

But, my opinion is that it's better to buy, say, one 240 GB SSD, rather than two 120 GB drives in RAID 0. Larger SSDs usually have more flash chips, and thereby have greater parallelism - internally, they are effectively doing RAID 0. This is why larger drives usually have higher performance specifications, and as a bonus you should get TRIM support (and you don't have the usual downsides of RAID 0). The cost difference is typically small.

The significance of question 2 depends on what you want to use the drive for. If you plan to do a lot of large sequential reads or writes, then it's worth going for RAID 0 for the reason you mention. Otherwise, random reads and writes, which do not benefit significantly from RAID 0, will dominate your usage.

Also, if you've not heard already, Intel 520 SSDs have a bug in their 256-bit AES support, which entitles you to a refund if you want.

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